Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report 05/16/15
Rain from isolated thunderstorms and showers is in the forecast for the next week. It
is the type of weather forecast that makes the weather guys look like they don't have
a clue, but in reality, as far as being able to pinpoint specific locations, it is almost
impossible. It is actually a good forecast for the streams of the Smokies. During the
next few days, the streams in the park stand a good chance of getting needed rain
that's necessary to keep the trout healthy.
I missed writing a report yesterday. The Yellowstone Park fishing season opens next
weekend and that, on top of the normal nationwide high level of fishing activity in May
is keeping everyone here very busy.
We have several customers fishing the park this week and/or weekend. None are
more loyal or valuable to us than Harvey, a disabled Veteran. He is visiting the area
this week and has been catching brook and rainbow trout each day even though he
has problems getting around and is having to fish only very easy to access locations.
This basically means locations he is able to drive up to, get out and make a few cast.
I'm positive that isn't easy to do, and especially with tourist looking over your
shoulder, or wading in the only water you can get too.
Don't get this wrong. He isn't complaining. He is just catching a few trout a day and
enjoying every minute of it. I'm only mentioning this to let you younger, healthy
rascals that want to complain about ANYTHING know I think you need to shut
the mouth and learn to deal problems many guys wish they did have to deal
We did manage to get the April issue of the Perfect Fly Fishing Journal out last
month, but we were the last day of the month doing it. I'm going ahead and letting
those not on the mailing list and not familiar it, see it. I'll go ahead a link all the issues
since the last one was short. I hope it will encourage those of you that haven't signed
up for it, to enter your email address (in the box just to your right) and get it free as
soon as it is released each quarter.
Weather: (At Gatlinburg at about 1600 ft)
Today, there is a slight chance of showers between 8am and 11am, then a chance of
showers and thunderstorms after 11am. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 79.
South wind will be around 5 mph becoming southwest in the morning. The chance of
precipitation is 50%.
Sunday, there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be mostly cloudy with
a high near 80. South wind around will be around 5 mph becoming west in the
afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 50%.
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data: Click
to links to see updates:
Little River: Rate: 134 cfs at 1.62 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 347 cfs at 1.62 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 77 cfs at 2.45 ft (good wading conditions up to 125 with
extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but it is in good shape.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Fontana Lake:
Customers reported recently that Hazel Creek is in good shape.
Current Recommended Streams: All the streams are okay.
Recommended Trout Flies:
Hook Size 20/18
American March Browns: 10/12
Brown and White Belly Sculpins:
Hook Size 6
Eastern Green Drakes: 4/6 (Abrams Creek Only)
Cinnamon Caddis: (mostly Abrams but a few in all of the streams) 16/18
Green Caddis: 14/16
larva (green rock worms)
Giant Black Stoneflies: 4/6
Eastern Pale Evening Duns: 14 (called sulphurs by some)
Little Yellow Stoneflies: 16/14
Light Cahills: 16
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
Keep in mind, the strategies I am recommending is for the maximum odds
of catching numbers of fish. Many prefer or favor a dry fly and by all means there
isn't anything wrong with that. It's just a fact that if nothing is hatching at the time, it
reduces your odds of success. You can still probably hook some trout, just not as
many as if you fish subsurface. Of course, this is also based on using good
techniques and the right flies. Some guys don't know how to fish below the surface.
If you fished the day or two before and know where something is hatching, fish the
nymph or larva stage of it. If you haven't fished the day or two before, until I spotted
something hatching, I would fish a size 18 Blue-winged Olive Nymph. They are little
swimming nymphs that are easily caught and eaten by trout and are still hatching. If
you spot something else hatching (coming off the water) that is relatively small, it will
most likely be Light Cahills. It it is relatively large, it will probably be an Eastern Pale
Evening Dun or American March Brown. Change to the appropriate emerger, dun or
adult imitations of the insect.
When March Browns, Light Cahills or Eastern Pale Evening Duns are hatching, there
will be a spinner fall late in the day. Often, you can catch more trout fishing the
spinner fall quicker than you can during the hatch. Change to the spinner imitation of
Giant Black Stoneflies and Little Yellow stoneflies are hatching, but of course, this
takes place during the evenings. Fishing a Giant Black Stonefly nymph or Little
Yellow Stonefly nymph very late in the afternoon near sunset should produce. If you
see the little stoneflies depositing their eggs on the surface of the water, switch to the
adult imitation of the Little Yellow stonefly.
Eastern Pale Evening Duns, often called Sulphurs but not true Sulphurs (which will
hatch later on), are still hatching in some areas. These are not any and everywhere,
but some of the larger pools. Sulphurs should begin to hatch anytime now. I will add
them to the list later this week.
As mentioned above, Light Cahills are hatching. Look for them in the faster water
areas. They will get caught up in the fast water runs and riffles.
Tips for Beginners:
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Whatever Hits Me:
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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The caps, not the old man or the sunglasses.
Actually, the caps are here now, but no one has the time to
put them up for sale in the Perfect fly Store. We have plain
olive ones and other colors as well. I'll even sell the one I'm
wearing at half price because I will continue to wear my hat,
thank you. I'm a fisherman, not a baseball player. But,
Derek Porter and 99.9 percent of the other fishermen, and
even the lady fishers, think my hat sucks. Wear the caps. If
it rains, your head will get wet (the back of the hats are
vented), and your ears and neck will get skin cancer from
the exposure to the sun. You may but you will be in style.
Yes, I'm joking but I do prefer hats. Every one in the band
is out of step but me.
James Marsh, WBS
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